Small Town Bridal, Fashion and Décor Shop Goes Digital
La Crème Boutique, located in St. Jacobs Ontario, was established 32 years ago by small business owner, Nancy Boudreau, and has consisted of nothing but passion and commitment ever since. With the help of her family, Nancy has transformed La Crème into the number one boutique for all things fashion, bridal and décor related in the area. Where they stand out from the competition primarily revolves around curation; every single purchase made from the boutique is thoughtfully matched with associated accessories and compatible articles of clothing. This additional level of customer service ultimately removes the effort from what is necessary to leave the store wearing the latest stylish trends.
In 2020, however, everything changed and the largest aspect of their boutique, that made them stand out from their competition, was taken away. No longer could you visit the St. Jacobs market, perusing stores such as La Crème Boutique on your weekends off, or have outfits curated by those who work there. The only solution in this scenario was taking their business digital, making their products available online, however, this transition would not come with ease. The first attempt at this solution involved creating a website on Wix and simply throwing up a variety of products and hoping they’d sell. This solution would then be tweaked as they made the transition to Shopify, as they believed this would be a better option for the store and their customers. Although they saw significantly more success with Shopify, nothing would be able to match the experience that was visiting the store in person.
This is where the help of the digital transformation team came in; with the store and market closed, the ultimate goal was to elevate their digital presence, optimize their customer’s experience, and reach each and every individual that may be interested in the La Crème brand. To accomplish this, the team evaluated the current website, social, and other various digital outlets, to establish potential pain points, and map out the overall digital transformation plan. The result, a few key goals for the project: utilizing an unused blog space on the website to bring in customers via search engine optimization, adjust their current Shopify space to better match the in store experience, and refresh a variety of their graphics, putting them in a place to succeed going forward.
The next goal had to do with matching the experience on the website to that of the boutique itself. After an in-depth website evaluation, the team established a few areas that needed work including links that were not active, navigation menus that were confusing or redundant, text heavy pages, suggestions for a better suited footer, and implementation of video. When surviving in a digital world, the implementation of video is an important addition, as it is the closest thing, when it comes to interaction, to actually being in the store.
What lies ahead for La Creme Boutique seems to be nothing but optimism. This is because they have found ways to utilize online platforms and tools that they may not have ultimately turned to had the pandemic not occurred. Between the variety of Facebook live videos, online sales, and content on their social media, they have found ways to bring their community together over things that they all enjoy such as fashion and decor. With the help of the FutureProof Digital Transformation Team, La Crème Boutique was able to overcome a variety of digital roadblocks, without having to divert their energy from the things that make their business so successful, such as their local friends, family, and community.
Our Digital Main Street Future Proof partner in Waterloo Region is Communitech. See how they can help.
Written by Aaron Shepherd
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.